Archive for the ‘activities’ Category

We won!!!!!!!!!!! I know it’s means nothing to those not involved in our ministry, but winning the golden crate is a big deal. We got the crate! It was all thanks to our StreetLeaders for writing the song and helping the kids learn it and to our interns for spending hours on the mascot and decoration! Great team work!

When we found out we won, we screamed, jumping up and down and hugging each other, for 15 minutes. 🙂

We got the crate!

Me and my 1st Golden Crate!


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I have really neglected this website. I haven’t been super busy, just focusing on other things. Here’s what we’ve been doing in urban children’s ministry during the last three months:



We had two major snowstorms, getting something like 20″ one week and then another 15″ inches the next week. There was heaps of snow around Camden and the streets were extremely difficult to drive upon. We had several dozen snow fights and used a snow mound as a ski slope. I found some sleds in the basement and the kids had fun sledding!

Watch the video here.




We had our annual Martin Luther King Jr speech competition. Kids in 3rd-9th grade wrote speeches about civil rights leaders that they admired. Staff members coach the kids and help them with their speeches. I coached three boys and two of them earned 1st and 2nd place! I was shocked my third boy didn’t get a place (he’s the one in the picture with his hands extended as if to say “Oh well!”). It was fun and the kids wrote some hilarious and slightly offensive things. 🙂

Watch the video here.


My staff and I had a sleepover on campus. Well, it was more of an all nighter since we didn’t go to sleep until 5am. We played an almost two hour game of hide and seek that was hilarious. Great time of bonding with my high school staff!


Five of my kids went with the president of our ministry to speak at a church. I was really proud of them. Future leaders of America!

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Math Dare 2010

This is our math team for 2010. Unfortunately, this year we lost our eight year reign as Camden’s math champions, losing by only 200 points.

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I’m not a paranoid right winger, but I have to admit I haven’t heard a lot about “Christmas” this holiday season. I recently went to a teacher supply store to look for bulletin board decorations that said “Merry Christmas.” And you know what? I couldn’t find any! I thought that was kind of weird.

I definitely want the kids I work with to know that Jesus is the reason for the season. We started laying a foundation for Christmas back in October, as each week in Bible class we’ve been learning about Jesus – how he came to earth, what his life was like, etc. And we’re also doing the following activties:

1. Advent Calendar

Explaining to the kids every day what we’re waiting for, excepting, hoping for, celebrating – the arrival of Jesus on December 25th. (Yes, he’s arrived already, but you know what I mean.) I bought a Advent Calendar house at a thrift store and in each little door is a scripture and thought about Jesus and a surprise (piece of candy, money, balloon). The kids love it and remind me about it when I forget. 🙂 This is a simple, easy way to remind the kids every day that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.

2. Telling the Christmas Story Interactively

Our interns got a bunch of props together and told the Nativity scene while the kids acted it out. Afterward, they asked questions and clarified points. The 3rd and 4th graders seemed to really *get* it, too. It was a special time.

3. Writing about the Christmas Story

We found booklets on the internet with pictures of the Nativity scene that they can color and also write about what happened. It’s a good reminder, but also using literacy skills! And they can take it home and re-read it later.

4. Christmas Crafts – Building a Manger

I previously linked to a website where you can find a bunch of different ways to make a Nativity scene. It’s fun and Biblical!

It might seem like we’re overdosing on the Biblical narrative of Christmas, but I don’t think it’s possible. If you use a variety of ways to communicate the message, the kids won’t be bored.

At our Christmas party we’re still having a surprise visit from Santa Claus (even though I don’t think most of the kids believe in him anymore) because I think it’s important to keep imagination alive. It’s an important part of childhood! But, I want the kids to have a foundation and ingrain in them the reason Christmas started in the first place, you know?

If you have any ideas how to remind kids that Jesus is the reason for the season, leave a comment!

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I was searching the internet for ideas on how to make a Nativity scene for our afterschool program art class and came across a great website called Artists Helping Children. It has about a dozen different options of how to make a Nativity scene using different forms of art media. I wish I had discovered this website first – I would’ve saved a lot of time!

The finished result :

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Yesterday we went on a hike at The Schuykill Center in north Philadelphia. We walked for more than two hours and did not find any bears. 🙂

Climbing a hill:

Climbing the hill

They were convinced a bear left this mark on the tree log:

They thought this was a bear scratch.

Consulting the trail map:

Reading the map.

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Last week we went to Duffield’s Farm Market in Sewell, New Jersey for a hayride, pumpkin picking and a corn maze.  The kids had a great time experiencing farm life.
Cannon Ball

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